What Brought You to Yoga?
We’re in the midst of a blossoming of interest in yoga around the world, but especially here in the U.S. For some practitioners, yoga will become a framework for their lives and through which they will relate to the world. For others, it will be a fad, a temporary stop in their quest to find something that’s missing in their lives, but ultimately, one which requires more effort and commitment than they are willing to put in.
For master teacher Amy Ippoliti, a world-renowned yoga teacher and co-founder of 90 Monkeys, one of the leading online schools for advanced yoga education, yoga was most certainly not a passing fad. As she tells host Colleen Saidman Yee in our most recent episode of Talking Yoga, Something More, with Amy Ippoliti, she came to yoga when she was just 16 years old. And, as with some of our other master teachers – Elena Brower, John Campbell and Rodney Yee – Amy’s discovery of yoga was a serendipitous accident.
She tells Colleen how, when she was in high school, she felt like she didn’t fit in. Like so many of us at that time in our lives, she felt lost and lonely. She was confused by the “mean girls” and she figured that there had to be something more to life. She became anti-social, and also obsessed with body image and fitness.
It was her focus on fitness that gave her the opportunity to discover yoga. She and her mom decided to take a yoga class at the local fitness studio where they both worked out, and the rest, as they say, is history.
But interesting history, because there’s one more ingredient to Amy’s first encounter with yoga: her first yoga teacher. As Amy puts it, she was “kind of out there” but she had access to something deeper and more mysterious than just fitness. It was that mystery, that mysticism, combined with Amy and her sister’s recent discovery of her dad’s copy of the Tao Te Ching, that called to Amy all those years ago.
In this episode, which is just the first from a longer interview that we’ll be sharing over time, Amy also recounts how she came to New York, made new connections in yoga, moving from a Sivananda-inspired class to taking Cyndi Lee’s first yoga teacher training in 1997, and eventually finding her own voice teaching vinyasa. But her yoga journey began in that one class, which wasn’t even in a yoga studio, and that one teacher who introduced Amy to the something more she had been looking for.
What about you? What were you searching for when you first came to yoga? Have you found it? Please tell us right here in the comments below, or on Twitter and Facebook. Be sure to include the hashtag, #SomethingMore.